Prove your humanity

Ahead of their new EP release Gully, Perth artists Figuero Jones and Black Napoleon, teamed up to take the stage at The Sewing Room on March 15. Renowned local artists, Mali Jo$e and Nabiiou$ also performed along with DJ’s, Mowgli and DJ Profits and event emcee, MAZTHEPLUG creating a night to remember for fellow ‘6K’ hip-hop fans.

Wondering what ‘6K’ means? I’ll just get that out of the way (if you know, you know). Remember the ‘east side’ and ‘west side’ movements in the USA? The ‘6K’ is basically another way of saying Perth, but growing talent here in the West has influenced a movement known as ‘6K Hip Hop’.

Being a fan of all of the above artists, I decided to get there early in the night to catch their performances, and yes, that was the best decision I made—apart from saving some money by keeping away from my favourite bottle of rum at the bar (a rare sight)!

I walked in as Mowgli got the 808’s bouncing on his opening set with fresh and familiar tunes from the likes of Young Thug, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Meek Mill (I’m sure you catch my drift). Attendees started gathering close to the front of the stage, enjoying their wait for the first artist.

Venue acoustics and the state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems brought incredible energy to this intimate gig. Bass, a vital element to hip-hop, flowed through the wooden dance floors and could be felt by your feet. It added a new dimension to the experience that was the K9ine Showcase: Road to ‘Gully’.

MAZTHEPLUG, the event’s dedicated hype-man, soon announced the first artist performing and the crowd cheered while Mali Jo$e and producer OJC43 took their places on stage. As soon as the first track dropped my excitement was through the roof! Very rarely will you see a hip-hop artist lay verses on unique instrumentals with beats played live by OJC43 on drum pads.

The setlist consisted of crowd favourites and a few unreleased projects with some great between-song anecdotes about his inspirations and troubles up-and-coming artists face in their journeys. A track that stood out and got the crowd jumping was Mali Jo$e’s most popular release to date, Run It, which was performed alongside collaborator 506. Run it, with its catchy lyrics and summer vibes, was one of the latest reasons why the 17-year-old artist should not be overlooked!

The party kept going with a mini set by DJ Profits full of hip-hop and Afrobeat bangers to keep the crowd charged up for the next artist, and soon after, the Section 6ix rapper was announced onto the stage. Nabiiou$ along with supporting artist from the same collective, Lordskii, wasted no time getting onto the first track, a ‘Remiik’ of the 21 Savage track, a lot. This was followed by $ide$, a fierce street banger and one of the handful of tracks I was hoping to hear on the night.

After performing a short mix of released and unreleased projects, Nabiiou$ invited another Section 6ix colleague, Pitty, on stage and we all knew what was next: Ten Toesthe only way to end a performance by true Section 6ix standards. Arguably their most popular track amongst fans, Ten Toes is a track made with fascinating melodies and laid-back beat, although the vibe on the dancefloor was the exact opposite.

The stage lights were turned down, this time for a longer interval and I could feel the excitement building in the quiet while the crowd squeezed up to the stage even more. The hour was here, and fans finally would get to witness what they had been patiently waiting for.

With the help of the wildly cheering crowd on the dance floor, a smooth-talking MAZTHEPLUG brought on Black Napoleon and Figuero Jones who promptly opened the ‘6K’ way with Payment, then Blue Faces an ‘old-school banger’ for the original fans.

Next up was Switch, one of three high octane singles I hoped the duo would perform. Following this was a string of collaborations that would make up the much-anticipated winter release, Gully. At this point, I had to retreat towards the back of the dance floor—the effect of the veteran-like stage confidence of the K9ine duo and a track list packed with more oomph than my pre-gig cigar.

The sudden drop of the duo’s latest release, Juggathon, caught most of us by surprise. With its bellowing 808’s, one of a kind synths and powerful autotuned melodies, Juggathon was a production masterpiece by ErikiBeatz. He was shortly pulled up to the stage to join the artists.

No Sofas, the last track, was the highlight of the event in my books. Like Juggathon, this single had huge success following its release and even landed in renowned playlists, A1 Hip Hop and All Aussie Hip Hop. Figuero Jones, Black Napoleon, ErikiBeatz and MAZTHEPLUG came together in the middle of the stage while the crowd joined them to rage one last time in true ‘6K’ style—a sight to remember!

Hip hop/rap is all about where you’re from and what you represent. In my opinion, this “new sound” of hip hop in Perth is still in the early stages and is only going to flourish in the future. Artists are only going to get better at their craft and have a bigger reach with time, so watch this scene!

Figuero Jones and Black Napoleon’s EP Gully will be released in June. Artists Mali Jo$e, Nabiiou$, Black Napoleon and Figuero Jones are all available on Spotify and Soundcloud.